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Private Sponsorship

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement about the growth in private sponsorship in the arts since 1983–84.

who goes on to boards. I am anxious that there should be a proper partnership with local authorities, with the minimum amount of trouble and fuss.

Following is the information:

Business sponsorship of the arts now stands at over £30 million a year, more than double the level in 1983–84. Much of this growth is due to the Government's highly successful business sponsorship incentive scheme.

Does my right hon. and learned Friend accept that that dramatic increase is welcomed by everyone connected with the arts? Does he further accept that many Conservative Members prefer privately funded to publicly funded generosity?

I hope that most of my hon. Friends— indeed, most Members of the House—believe that a balance must be struck. I appreciate that I will never convince at least one of my hon. Friends—I am more hopeful about others—that we want substantial private contributions, although I am firmly committed to a strong level of Government funding. I hope that that level will increase year on year, which is what we managed to achieve this year.